Cleaning house: Cleanliness is next to profitability

Cleaning supplies are big business. And the major hardware co-ops are showing by their actions, their words and their shelf space that they mean business in the cleaning business.

Most notable among recent moves was Do it Best Corp.’s recent elevation of its cleaning supplies category by giving it a dedicated buyer for the category of cleaning supplies and storage. It’s Amanda Harmeyer’s job to manage the cleaning supplies and storage category for the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op, which until now had cleaning supplies as part of a much larger housewares group.

“This category is an important and promising area of growth for our members, which is why we’ve invested in this new position on our merchandising team,” said Steve Markley, VP merchandising for Do it Best.

True Value sees the importance of cleaning supplies to the extent that its retail laboratory store in Mount Prospect, Ill., has gone double wide — a cleaning supply expansion in aisles 27 and 28 of its store.

“Cleaning supplies are always one of the top classes every week of the year,” said True Value CEO Lyle Heidemann, explaining the co-op-owned store’s increased emphasis on cleaning supplies “And it’s very much a selection business.”

At Ace Hardware’s Chicago market, Proctor & Gamble’s Mr. Clean was on hand to help promote a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital campaign. Ace is teamed up with the makers of Comet, Joy, Tide and Swiffer, among many others to provide in-store product displays for the campaign.

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